If you look real hard, you’ll see that I made some real progress late last night in transforming my new version of In a Dark Time to my vision of what I want the site to look like. I converted to MySQL and Movabletype 2.5 by following Jonathans advice and by getting a little help from girlie at the MovableType Support Forum (these program are certainly tougher on typos than I ever was as an English teacher).
After that it was relatively easy to add the Search feature over there in the left hand column, another feature I had to leave the old I.S.P. behind in order to incorporate into my site. I say “relatively” easily because it did take about an hour and a half of research and cutting and pasting to figure out how to include it, without also giving everyone the ability to actually “edit” the entries(why is that the default?).
The next feature, I’m afraid, will take considerably more time than that. Again, following Jonathan’s suggestion, I’m going to try to use Brad Choate’s MySQL plug-in for Movable Type to build the list of poets and books I’ve reviewed. I spent a while today glancing over the instructions and was left wondering if I am going to have to learn SQL Basic in order to do this. (I may yet have to take Shelley up on her offer to help out, though she certainly seems to have more than enough of her own to do.)
After reading all the recent discussions of mental illness, I’m beginning to wonder if my addiction to this site and to my vision of what it should become wouldn’t qualify as some form of mental illness. What started as a mild diversion has nearly become an obsession, ever expanding to take up all the “extra” time I have.
I’m beginning to suspect, though, that what I’m trying to do on this web site really had its genesis when I was still teaching. As a research paper teacher, I thought that the web had immense potential as a research tool. Unfortunately, attempts at research often revealed that there was very little quality work out there. Too few people seemed willing to post quality writing on the web, probably because it meant giving their work away for free. Knowing that most small literary magazines that one can find in college libraries are not profitable and were subsidized by colleges, I found it strange that few of them appeared on the internet, a much cheaper mode of distribution.
Now, I understand people should make money from their writings, but if, as it appears, there is little money to be made in academic writing, why hasn’t more of it appeared on the internet, particularly since it has the potential to draw a larger audience to poetry, an audience poetry desperately needs if it is going to ever become profitable again?
Well, this site is my attempt to do precisely that. I’;m not going to delude myself into believing that this is the kind of analysis that would appear in college journals. It’s never been intended to do that. Nor can a student simply come here and find the kind of essay that would satisfy a high school teacher or college professor. Hopefully, though, it provides a starting point for thinking about the poets and writers that I cover here. I’ve even replied to some students who wrote asking questions about poets I’ve discussed. Ive tried to ask the kind of leading questions that I asked my own students when they asked for my help. Generally, the students have responded with polite “thank you’s,”; not complaining because I wouldn’t give them an answer.
If this site is an addiction, and it may well be, I’m beginning to suspect that Jonathan may be my”enabler” urging me on to fulfill a crazy vision of what I want this site to become. I don’t remember what his Brigg’s Meyer profile is, but he is certainly feeding into my INTP, the delusional architect of a vast, all-encompassing website.